APEC Looks at Advertising Standards, Self-Regulation

Lima_PeruMembers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum held a third workshop on advertising standards in Lima, Peru August 22-23. The workshop brought together important government and advertising industry participants from APEC economies to advance the APEC Action Agenda on Advertising Standards and Practice Development, and to share views on good practices and experiences in advertising self-regulation.

Drawing attention to the 2017 APEC host’s views on the importance of the issue, the two-day event was opened by Peruvian Vice President Mercedes Araoz, who emphasized the need for a self-regulatory space to reflect responsibility in society, mutual respect and the creation of values. On this note, the stage was set for the seminar which focused on sharing good practices and experiences on advertising self-regulation among APEC economies, followed by fruitful discussions between APEC regulatory authorities, SROs and the industry.

Several USCIB members took part in the workshop, as did representatives of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), part of USCIB’s global network. ICC maintains the oldest and most influential international code on marketing and advertising standards, and has been a force for robust self-regulation of the industry since the 1930s.

“Advertising is an important driver of economic growth within APEC,” said Raelene Martin, policy manager for ICC’s Commission on Marketing and Advertising. “Aligning advertising standards across the Asia-Pacific region will easier facilitate the delivery of advertising services, and enable business growth, greater regional trade and investment, non-tariff barrier reduction and drive economic growth among APEC economies.”

Martin elaborated on the Consolidated ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communications Practice, noting its flexibility to adapt to different legal backstops and local needs. The code has been classified by the APEC Policy Support Unit study as the global reference for international best practice/advertising self-regulation.

APEC is developing a set of guiding principles which call on government and industry to develop robust self-regulatory systems, and provide a regulatory checklist on self-regulatory best practice for developing general systems and specific industries. A mentoring network will also be established, hosted by the Australian Advertising Standards Authority, to help reinforce and develop self-regulatory organizations, particularly in key markets where they do not yet exist.

At the APEC senior officials meeting taking place that same week in Lima, members of the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment recognized the continued importance of the APEC Action Agenda, with strong support for the work and follow-through on the key outcomes from the workshop, including a proposal for the next conference to be organized in Ho Chi Minh city in 2017, during Vietnam’s term as APEC chair, to review progress and develop a five-year implementation plan.

The ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising has renewed its commitment to work with industry and other key stakeholders to help advocate the benefits of advertising self-regulation and ensure local input is given into the global commission that writes and revises the ICC Code.

Staff Contact:   Jonathan Huneke

VP, Communications and Public Affairs
Tel: 212.703.5043

Jonathan Huneke is responsible for USCIB’s strategic communications, including media relations, publications, online content and high-level public events. He also manages the work of USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee.
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